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USING MOTIVATIONAL INTERVIEWING TO HELP YOUR STUDENTS

“Earlier you said that you were completely prepared for the exam, but it sounds like there might have been some additional steps you might have taken.”

Summary statements bring the conversation to a conclusion. They need not be elaborate and you can start by simply saying that you want to sum- marize the conversation. For the student, it is chance to correct things and provide additional information. The statements can also be a reminder of action that needs to be taken. An example:

“So, today we discussed some possible solutions to get you to class on-time, and learned that you want to take action to help solve the problem.

Start by using one or two of the OARS components and expand your repertoire to include all four techniques. Knowing which tools will be most effective at any moment requires practice and careful listening.

sing the FRAMES (feedback, responsibility, advice, menu, empathy, self-efficacy) construction, teachers, advisors and others can help stu- dents take action and move forward. One of the tenets of motivational interviewing is to engage with positive momentum. Stay focused on mov- ing forward to prevent getting stuck on issues in the past or stuck in think- ing that is counter-productive. U

Feedback must be delivered in a clear, non-judgmental way that articu- lates discrepancies in the current behavior and the goal or new behavior. These are best stated as facts rather than opinions, which might be dis- missed as “just an opinion.”

Responsibility links the problematic behavior with the action of the individual. It can be a clear reminder that the behavior is “owned” by the student and therefore, is up to the student to change if they choose to.

Advice can be used to provide alternatives to the undesirable behavior, to help negotiate challenging situations, or to build paths around an obsta- cles. But, like any advice, it is up to the individual to consider the advice and decide whether or not to take action. Avoid becoming emotionally invest- ed in whether or not a student accepts your advice. Your role is to simply provide a new perspective or an option to consider.

Menus offer more than one solution to a problem and allow the indi- vidual to choose the path that will potentially be the most effective and helpful for the current challenge. Do not discount any potential solution as unworkable; it is up to the student to make that judgment.

Empathy allows you to build rapport by acknowledging that change can take effort and work, although this is not the case for all individuals, so it must be used with caution and sincerity.

Self-efficacy increases the likelihood that the individual will feel empowered and capable of making a change and following through with a new behavior long-term. Express your belief that the individual has the

FALL 2010

THOUGHT & ACTION

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